WTO: record Arctic ice melt shows “climate change is taking place before our eyes”
World Meteorological Organization issues statement on the world's extreme weather in 2012
The years 2001 to 2011 were all among the warmest on record according to the World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations climate agency.
And the first ten months indicate that 2012 will most likely be no exception, the organization said Nov. 28 in its provisional annual statement on the state of the global climate.
January to October 2012 has been the ninth warmest such period since records began in 1850, it said.
The statement, released to inform negotiators at the UN Climate Change Conference now taking place in Doha, Qatar, also highlighted the unprecedented melt of the Arctic sea ice and multiple weather and climate extremes which affected many parts of the world.
“The extent of Arctic sea ice reached a new record low,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud in a news release on the statement. “The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth’s oceans and biosphere. Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records.”
The Arctic reached its lowest annual sea ice extent since the start of satellite records on Sept. 16 at 3.41 million square kilometres, he noted.
This was 18 per cent less than the previous record low of Sept. 18, 2007.